Richard Maun – Innocently Smooth

better business blog

Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation


Innocently Smooth

21 May 2017

Making a fruit smoothie seems like a lot of hassle to me, and besides, lacking any kind of automated fruit whizzing device I’m not sure a potato masher would cut the mustard.

Instead I happily buy smoothies and consume them with healthy pleasure until one day a couple of weeks ago, disaster! My bottle of fruit mega berry surprise had some mould on the top. Not the surprise I was hoping for. As the cap hadn’t been tampered with, it was clearly a manufacturing fault, I emailed a photo and a polite note of complaint to Innocent.

A few days later an envelope turned up. The address was handwritten and inside I discovered a pile of vouchers and a neatly handwritten postcard, which even included a sketch of a sad smoothie and a happy person flying a kite.

Cute? Or overkill?

Cute for sure and an interesting way to add a personal factor to their customer service. It made a pleasant change from receiving a standard automated letter and a lonely voucher, and given the time taken to update and print a letter, a postcard was probably just as time efficient.

Compare that to a recent experience on eBay. My son had ordered a Pokemon game which arrived on time, but turned out to be as fake as the wood used inside Japanese cars in the 1980s. We contacted the seller, by way of a pithy note of complaint, and waited for them to do …absolutely nothing.

Although eBay should refund the cost in due course we now have to slog through their complaints system which has many options on it, apart from a big red button marked ‘item was a fake so give me my money back right now and kick the seller off the site.’

The net result of these two stories is that I continue to buy Innocent smoothies, happy in the knowledge they care about their customers …and that none of us here are likely to use eBay again in a hurry. If ever.

A personal touch makes for great customer service. A website complaints system that loops round and round and lacks responsiveness makes for poor customer service. We can choose for ourselves how we respond to our customers and clients and maybe it’s time to forgo an easy email and instead reach for an ink pen, some quality plain paper and take the time to write. 

What else could you do this week to make your clients feel valued? Take them out for free coffee and cake? (Green tea for me please).

Remember that every unhappy customer tells at least another 20 people about their experience. Sometimes they even blog about it!

Next week: Ask For Ye Olde Order


Click cover to view details on Amazon


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© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact